Thomas Keneally

Thomas Michael Keneally, AO (born 7 October 1935) is a prolific Australian novelist, playwright, and essayist. He is best known for his non-fiction novel Schindler’s Ark, the story of Oskar Schindler’s rescue of Jews during the Holocaust, which won the Booker Prize in 1982. The book would later be adapted into director Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film Schindler’s List, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Books in order of publication:


  • The Place at Whitton (1964)
  • The Fear (1965), rewritten in (1989) as By the Line
  • Bring Larks & Heroes (1967), winner of the Miles Franklin Award, set in an unidentified British penal colony
  • Three Cheers for the Paraclete (1968), winner of the Miles Franklin Award, comic novel of a doubting priest
  • The Survivor (1969), a survivor looks back on a disastrous Antarctic expedition
  • A Dutiful Daughter (1971), Keneally’s personal favourite
  • The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1972), also filmed. Written through the eyes of an exploited Aboriginal man who explodes in rage. Based on an actual incident. Keneally has said he would not now presume to write in the voice of an Aboriginal person, but would have written the story as seen by a white character.
  • Blood Red, Sister Rose (1974), a novel based loosely on the life of Joan of Arc
  • Moses the Lawgiver (1975)
  • Gossip from the Forest (1975), tells of the negotiation of the armistice that ended World War I
  • Season in Purgatory (1976), love among Tito’s partisans in World War II
  • Ned Kelly and the City of the Bees (1978), a book for children
  • A Victim of the Aurora (1978), a detective story set on an Antarctic expedition
  • Passenger (1979)
  • Confederates (1979), based on Stonewall Jackson’s army
  • The Cut-Rate Kingdom (1980), Australia at war in 1942
  • Schindler’s Ark (1982), winner of the Booker Prize, later released and filmed as Schindler’s List
  • A Family Madness (1985)
  • The Playmaker (1987), prisoners perform a play in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Act of Grace (1985), (under the pseudonym William Coyle) Published as Firestorm in the US
  • By the Line (1989), working-class families face World War II in Sydney
  • Towards Asmara (1989), the conflict in Eritrea
  • Flying Hero Class (1991), Palestinians hijack an aeroplane carrying an Aboriginal folk dance troupe
  • Chief of Staff (1991), (under the pseudonym William Coyle)
  • Woman of the Inner Sea (1993), Keneally retells a story once told him by a young woman that haunted his imagination
  • Jacko: The Great Intruder (1993), madness and television
  • A River Town (1995)
  • Bettany’s Book (2000)
  • An Angel in Australia (2000), also published as Office of Innocence
  • The Tyrant’s Novel (2003), an Australian immigration detainee tells his story
  • The Widow and Her Hero (2007), the effect of war on those left behind
  • The People’s Train (2009), a dissident escapes from Russia to Australia in 1911, only to return to fight in the revolution
  • The Daughters of Mars (2012), two Australian sisters struggle to nurse soldiers horrifically wounded in World War I
  • Shame and the Captives (2014), recounts the escape of Japanese prisoners of war in New South Wales during WWII
  • Napoleon’s Last Island (2015)
  • Crimes of the Father (2016)
  • Two Old Men Dying (2018)
  • The Book of Science and Antiquities (2019)
  • The Dickens Boy (2020)

The Monsarrat series, co-authored with Meg Keneally

  • The Soldier’s Curse (2016)
  • The Unmourned (2017)
  • The Power Game (2018)
  • The Ink Stain (2019)


  • Outback (1983)
  • Australia: Beyond the Dreamtime (1987)
  • The Place Where Souls are Born: A Journey to the Southwest (1992)
  • Now and in Time to Be: Ireland and the Irish (1992)
  • Memoirs from a Young Republic (1993)
  • The Utility Player: The Des Hasler Story (1993) Rugby league footballer Des Hasler
  • Our Republic (1995)
  • Homebush Boy: A Memoir (1995), autobiography
  • The Great Shame (1998)
  • American Scoundrel: The Life of the Notorious Civil War General Dan Sickles (2002), biography of Daniel Sickles
  • Lincoln (2003), biography of Abraham Lincoln
  • The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Story of the Founding of Australia (2005)
  • Searching for Schindler: A Memoir (2007)
  • Australians: Origins to Eureka (2009)
  • Three Famines: Starvation and Politics (2011)
  • Australians: Eureka to the Diggers (2011)
  • Australians: Flappers to Vietnam (2014)
  • Australians: A Short History (2016)


  • Halloran’s Little Boat (1968)
  • Childermas (1968)
  • An Awful Rose (1972)
  • Bullie’s House (1981)
  • Either Or (2007)
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